Northern Sinfonia musical director Thomas Zehetmair and his wife, the violist Ruth Killius, thrilled an audience at the Sage Gateshead with a passionate account of Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola.

A formidable team, the partners were backed sensitively by the house orchestra as they opened one of Mozart's most beautiful creations.

The first movement saw, at turns, some intricate sparring and lines conveyed in absolute concert, with each note keenly articulated. The fortissimos were drawn out to ethereal whispers. The exquisite andante was conveyed with heartfelt affection; the sinfonia holding the soloists lines aloft as it became in effect a third soloist.

The evening was topped and tailed by two revolutionary works, opening with the contemporary composer Gerald Barry's colourful Wiener Blut and concluding with Beethoven's Symphony No 3 Eroica. Zehetmair opened Beethoven's heroic work with concisely executed lines as he proceeded to give a lean account that emphasised the muscular structure of the composition.

The slow funeral march oozed gravitas, treading inexorably to the sprightly Scherzo. The finale was built up to a fiery crescendo, with the strings working furiously to pump up the volume. The horns were magnificent.

The last bar had barely died down when a lone voice rang out Bravo! It had to be said, before the performers were showered with applause.